New York acquires land for $36M veterans cemetery project

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The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) recently completed the acquisitions of an additional land to build a new verans cemetery in Genesee County.

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer announced that a 60-acre parcel and a 77-acre parcel were purchased for the construction phase of the new Western New York National Veterans Cemetery in in Pembroke.

Once constructed, the new veterans cemetery in Genesee County will be the first and only-of-its-kind in the Buffalo-Rochester area and will save thousands of military families from having to travel upward of 100 miles to visit their loved ones at what is now the closest vet cemetery in Bath.

Schumer is now is now urging the VA to begin construction of the cemetery this year.

“With this final hurdle cleared, I urge the VA to stick to a swift construction timetable and take the steps to begin the Western New York Veterans Cemetery construction this year. Making this cemetery a reality has been one of my top priorities, and now the VA has a clear path to begin construction. I am elated the VA heeded my calls and I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition,” the senator said in a statement.

Previously, the Veteran Affairs Department purchased a 132-acre site bordering on Indian Falls Road and State Route 77 in the Town of Pembroke but required two additional parcels before construction could begin.

It typically takes up to 24 months to complete the cemetery master planning and design process. Following that, the construction phase typically requires 24-30 months to compete, with early-use burial areas made available approximately 12 months after the start of construction, according to guidance provided by the VA on cemetery development timelines.

The federal government allocated $35 million for the construction the cemetery, which will provide a fitting burial option to approximately 96,000 currently underserved veterans and family members living in Western New York.

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